One-On-One: Who is going to win the World Series?

Los Angeles Dodgers

The old saying goes “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” The Dodgers didn’t start very well, but they sure finished well, and that’s why they’ll win the World Series.

In early June, they were under .500 and had just lost Matt Kemp to a hamstring injury. LA had to do something.

So, they called up Yasiel Puig, their top prospect, but that didn’t help right away. On June 23, Hanley Ramirez started a four-week tear. He hit .429 and the team went from 10 games under .500 to five games over. They overtook the Diamondbacks for first place and never looked back.

Really, it’s their balance that makes LA such a dangerous team.  Yes, the offense is good, finishing sixth in the NL in batting average, but the pitching is better.

It starts with Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw won 16 games, had a 1.83 ERA and 232 strikeouts. He’s the ace of their staff, but Zack Greinke won 15 games and had an ERA under 3. Their third starter, Hyun-Jin Ryu, posted 14 wins and an even 3.00 ERA.

The Dodgers have a loaded lineup and a stacked rotation. The bullpen can be shaky sometimes, but with that rotation, it doesn’t matter.  The Dodgers are a complete team, and that’s why they’ll win the World Series.

 -Garth Shanklin

 

Oakland A’s

While looking at the field of teams in the 2013 MLB playoffs, it’s easy to side with the safer picks.

Such as the star-filled Detroit Tigers or the St. Louis Cardinals or Boston Red Sox, which are tied for the best record in the majors.

Although, heading into the postseason there is a certain team that has caught my eye. The Oakland Athletics have burst on to the playoff scene briskly and surprisingly.

After finishing 96-66, first in the AL West, the A’s finished the season with a month of September where they went 19-8, with a sweep of the division rival Texas Rangers, which was crucial in the A’s clinching of the division.

They changed up their 2012 division title roster, with additions of shortstop Jed Lowrie and outfielder Chris Young.

The only downside to this A’s team is that they boast no real star power. But this doesn’t hold back the A’s, who have perfected getting the most out of talent they have.

In the Major League hunt for the October Fall Classic, the hottest teams usually get the crown. And this year, the A’s are that team. If they get past Detroit, there may be no looking back.

 -Chris Kwiecinski